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Honda Element



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm still waiting for them to come out with a yellow one, the same color Hummer uses.

  • Ok, so I saw the Silver EX-P AWD AT Element today...the darned thing is delicious! So I've decided.....finally!
  • I'm just squeaking by on 5' 2" and test drove the Silver EX-P about an hour ago. I too was worried about seeing over the hood but to my surprise, I could see fine. Yes, the seat was pushed all the way forward but no problem viewing. I do wish they had seats on memory settings though. I'm 5' 2" and my hubby's 6' 5" so....well.... I guess he's not going to drive the car....EVER! :mad:
  • dweiserdweiser Posts: 288
    Think I was pretty lucky to find one.
    There's a Magnesium in here where I live and I like that one too.
    p.s. My "other" vehicle is a 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 (AWD) Cabriolet (convertible) and I love both my vehicles!
  • I had decided to purchase a 2006 Element EX AWD AT several months ago. However with the new changes in the 2006 RAV4, I am now looking (or attempting to look) at the RAV4. What opinions are there on the Element vs. the 2006 RAV4, and the quality/reliability of Honda and Toyota vehicles? There seem to be advantages to each of the vehicles.
  • I just got my February issue of Car & Driver and they had a comparison test of the Element EX-P, Scion xB, Chryler PT Cruiser GT and Chevrolet HHR. Amazingly, the Element came in 4th!!!! I couldn't believe it!

    Here are the results-

    4- Element
    3- HHR
    2- PT Cruiser
    1- Scion xB

    Perhaps the Scion's pricetag had a lot to do with it, I dunno. The PT getting second is pretty absurd to me.

    In my book, they'd be in this order-
    4- PT Cruiser
    3- Scion xB
    2- HHR
    1- Element

    Good news, though. The Element sales for 2005 have held pretty steady. Sales are at 51k as of 11/05 vs. 55k as of 11/04 YTD.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    I saw the C and D review as well.

    There biggest issue was with the suicide door configuration - an automotive answer in search of a question is how they put it. I have to admit that I have considered an Element for a while as a family vehicle for my wife and 1 and soon to be 2 children. The hassles with opening the doors caused the C and D reviewers concerns as well because of the seat belt connection to the door and the need to open the front door to get the back door open.

    The suicide door set up adds versatility and if the car is mainly used by 1 person and some cargo its a neat solution. But if the car is used routinely with multiple passengers, it can get to be a pain.

    Here the xB does a little better because of its 5 door configuration.

    I do think the xB feels cheaper and less substantial, ie less safe in a crash than an Element. It does have great front and rear seats but little cargo space. It seems like a good around town car but I am not sure I would trust my family to it - basically because to some degree, mass = safety and the Scion xB is a light weight vehicle without side airbags.

    I find the xB intriguing because of its price, mileage and fucntionality but I am not sure I could actually pull the trigger on one.

    The Honda Odyssey is the vehicle that makes the most sense for my family but for whatever reason I resist it. Maybe the CR-V, maybe an Acura RDX, Rav 4, or Pilot. But I always come back to the Odyssey for its interior space, safety and utility. I stubornly resist . . . .

    If I had to guess, both the xB and Element are deliberately somewhat family unfriendly to push family-use purchasers to other more expensive vehicles and because the target market - younger people - are not as likely to have issues with the configuration.
  • They should have tossed the Mazda5 in this test, too. I think it compares well with most of these cars.

    As far as the xB, besides the center gauges and the fact that it feels very much like a $14k car, the powertrain would be a deal breaker for me. Especially with the automatic, it is painfully slow. I haven't driven the xB, but I have driven the mechanically identical xA in both manual and automatic. I guess they're a lot of car for the money, but I'm not impressed.

    I can see how the suicide doors would make the Element less than user friendly for someone who routinely carries rear seat passengers. The fact that it's only a four seater doesn't help in that respect either. But for a single, 30- something guy like me, it'd be near perfect. And that Honda 2.4L is such a sweet engine.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    The xB has another downside - limited cargo space if the rear seats are in use. The trunk area is about 1 foot deep - room for a couple of duffles and that is it. The Element is much better in this regard.

    I wish the CR-V was essentially a 5 door Element but it is not. I do not like the swinging rear door with full size spare on it and the front seat room is more limited. Hopefully something Honda will address with the redesign.

    I agree, the Element is a very solid car for a single driver of any age who appreciates utility and value with a little uniqueness thrown in!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The reliability of the Honda is stellar as far as all reviews are concerned. Reliability has yet to be seen on the new RAV4, but I would imagine it to be wonderful as the old one.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I can't really explain that finishing order, either. Look at the resale value of compact cars from Chevy and Chrysler - the public isn't in agreement with them.

    Mazda5 is nice, fun to drive, too. CR put it on the very top of its tall wagon category, well ahead of the PT and HHR.

    RAV4 has grown a bit, it's not a tad bigger than the CR-V, and correspondingly costs more. Element seats 4, RAV4 up to 7 people. How much do you want to spend?

  • Hi all, I've been lurking in this forum for quite a while as I've always been curious about Elements but never thought I'd actually own one. Well now I'm biting the bullet and doing it, I think it's a pretty good choice for commuting to work and piling all our sports gear into. The biggest drawback I suspect will be for my kids accessing the rear seats (but we also have a minivan for that kind of travel).

    I see that in my area, online, there are about a dozen for sale, mostly 2003's and some 2005s. I would have liked to get a 2004 but none are around, so my first question is: Is the 2003 plagued by 1st-model-year bugs?

    Of the dozen for sale only one is a standard, I prefer this over an automatic, but haven't actually driven one. Does the unusual shifter position take a lot of getting used to or is it annoying in any way?

    Its battery looks to be an irregular shape and looks too small, how many amps (amp hrs) is it? I don't think I'd like it to whimp out on a -35C winter night when I'm out in the 'boonies', can it be replaced by a big honking AC delco?

  • I was considering a used Element a while back and the vast majority on the market were 2003 models simply because they're the oldest ones. I researched them a good bit and couldn't find any first year issues with that model. Honda usually does a good job in that area, though I'm sure there are exceptions.

    One of the problems I had was trying to find a FWD manual EX. Out of 70+ for sale in the Atlanta area at the time, two were manual FWD EX and they were both colors I wouldn't consider (Orange and Dark Blue). As far as the shifter goes, I test drove a new one and the unusual position (coming out of the dash) becomes very comfortable quickly. It's actually a great spot for it. I also drove an automatic FWD and was surprised that it had plenty of power, but I just couldn't bring myself to get an automatic.

    Have you searched for one every way possible? I'm not sure what sort of options you have in your area. Also, have you considered trying to get a deal on a remaining '05 model?
  • dweiserdweiser Posts: 288
    Hi Ian,
    Have you tried your local library and the annual Car issue of "Consumer Reports"? In the back they list vehicles by model year with all those little black and red circles for everything from engine to clutch to fit and finish to reliability. If there were any problems with an Element model year it would show there.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Anyone seen an orange EX-P yet? I have seen the green but not the orange.
  • Alright, I test drove a stick shift one today and I'm hooked. Having driven the standard there's no way I'd settle for an automatic - it was a lot of fun. Almost just as much fun was the young salesdude riding along desperately searching for complimentry things to say about the Element. I let him sweat it out for a while then finally let him off the hook by saying "relax buddy, I know it's on the ugly & geeky side, but it's fun to drive and what I need to haul my junk around". He breathed a sigh of relief.

    I would have bought the one I test drove but it didn't have the rear sunroof.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  • I just saw one on display at the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Costco. I liked it - the orange color wasn't overly bright.
  • My local dealer has one up on the elevated platform on the corner. It's a ghastly color, in my humble opinion. Then again, that Kiwi (green) is nasty, too.

    Bring back the Cargo Khaki! That was a nice color.
  • What color(s) are you thinking about?

    It's funny that you have to make excuses to the salesman about the car (as far as being dorky) but I encounted the same sort of thing when I was looking at them. One salesman came right out and told me he thought it was "dog-ugly" but drove great and was very versatile.

    It is definitely a love it/hate it look, but I love it. Kinda sad that I didn't end up buying one. I wonder if there will be a next generation model?
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Thanks - good to know they are out there. Right now the color I like best is the Rally Red.
  • No ive not seen the orange ones, they just came out with the orange color. In fact i got one on order and itll be here in 5-7 days and im excited. i test drove a silver one today and i loved. it was sooo roomy inside.I cant wait until mine comes in.
  • The orange color is bright but i seem to love it, i like the kiwi green color too but chose the tangerine color.
  • Has anyone seen photos of the 2008 model redesign? I'd love to know how Honda plans to alter this idiosyncratic design.
  • No ive not seen the 2008 model redesign, thats 2 yrs from now are they going to be changing the body style?
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Congrats on your orange Element. You must be getting excited!
  • I use the spray tire black,,, It seems to keep it refreshed looking
  • My tangerine colored element came in today, and i go friday to pick it up. they are going to clean it up and make sure nothing is wrong with it, im sooooo very excited!!!!ill keep u updated on how i am liking it.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    I am sure it will be sharp!

    Just have to decide if an Element could work for my wife and 2 infants and me. It is certainly cheaper than the Odyssey option and a little more fun.
  • I'm not sure what's wrong with me but I find myself keeping the Element on my list. Please help me :P

    I think my problem is that:

    1) I love functional things
    2) I love storage areas
    3) I'm wanting to be in the target age group (college) instead of pushing 40

    Besides the unique looks and the somewhat medicore 4c engine, I think my biggest issue would be the suicide doors. I have a 96 Explorer Sport (2 door) and I find myself frustrated with not having easy access to the back everyday to store my laptop bag. I have a funny feeling I will be frustrated everyday if I get an Element and have to do similar gyrations to put my work stuff in the back seat. A silly issue but there you are.

    Related to that I also think the doors would discourage me from volunteering to drive. I do this now because getting into the back seat of my car is not that easy as it was when my friends where 10 years younger. I don't live near my folks but I really can't see them easily getting into an Element as they approach 80 years old.

    Having said all that, I just can't take it off my list. Seems like such a fun vehicle. Though I can't help thinking that I should grow up and get something else. :confuse:
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    I too obsess about the Element! I want something fun with some storage. I have one and soon to be two carseats and occupants to consider. I am also pushing 40!

    Another fun vehicle I am seriously considering is the Scion xB! Check it out. It has a huge rear seat and 5 real doors and 5 seats instead of 4.

    Where it lags the Element is storage but cost is much lower. Have you considered it?

    I have not ruled the Element out due to better safety and storage but the xB is worth considering.
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